August 16


August 16, 2022

The Rooks County Board of Commissioners met with the following present:  Chairman, John Ruder, and Members, Greg Balthazor and Tim Berland. Laura Montgomery, Rooks County Clerk, was present to write the minutes.  Virgie Laska was present to write the minute for Stockton Sentinel. Ruder called the meeting to order and asked all to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The agenda was reviewed and accepted as presented.

Commissioners reviewed the August 9th and 10th minutes. The minutes were accepted with a correction on the spelling of a name. Ruder made a motion to approve the minutes, Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

Berland weekly report: He had a complaint about U Road between 7 Road and 9 Road. He has already spoken to Bouchey about the complaint.

Balthazor weekly report: Talked to a few farmers and who said it has been too dry to grade. He has received calls from a couple of the men from the road department. This will need to be visited later with Bouchey. The rain today will help the roads.

Ruder weekly report: He finished talking about the ambulance bids from last week. He had a bid from America Response. Adam Comeau gave Ruder options for lease purchase. The commissioners are not looking for a lease purchase but just a lease on the ambulance. Leasing was discussed as an option. Berland thinks this might be the way to go because of the cost would be spread out over several years instead of trying to come up with all of the funds at once.

Ruder had a short meeting with Bret Greenwood about the trails at the Plainville Lake.  The commissioners reviewed the Plainville Township Lake Memo of Understanding. Berland had some questions about the cost of supporting and the county’s liability for the maintenance.

Commissioners reviewed the RCED minutes. Ruder asked about the hanger at the airport that is uncompleted. Balthazor replied there is a disagreement about the building material for the hanger. The hanger has been uncompleted for about a year.   

Ruder made a motion to sign the GIS Maintenance Agreement, Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

Ruder made a motion to sign the W-9 for Ness County for the Sheriff’s Department. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

The commissioners reviewed the Treasurer quarterly report.

Rich Bouchey, Road & Bridge Supervisor, was in for his weekly report. The commissioners accept the monthly report for Sanitation and Road & Bridge. Ruder made a motion to endorse the Sanitation check in the amount of $10, 505.20. Balthazor second the motion and Berland agreed.

Bouchey needs people to apply for jobs. He has another employee retiring in the next 3 to 6 months.

Bouchey and Ronnie Rudman has been busy digging up sand and breaking rock for the road crew as Bouchey doesn’t have anyone else to work those vehicles. The grader that has been in Concordia for repairs is back at the shop. The grader is having transmission issues. The transmission is covered by the warranty. Brown will take it back to Concordia in a couple of days and take the oil distributor to Topeka for repairs.

Dryden’s motor grader back in the shop needing a seal on the rear end. There is a bill at the road office for the motor grader going back to Concordia. It will come out of special equipment fund. Berland would like the clerk to find the agreement and warranty for the grader that was done in February or March. 

The red water truck is back but it needs a few things adjusted before use. This morning the Mack water truck is in the shop. Ruder asked about the new dump truck with the new frame. Berland asked about which water trucks Bouchey is using. Bouchey said they can fill the water truck from Arizona from the top but when they try to fill from the bottom there is no pressure to push the water into the tank. There is plenty of pressure to spray out.

Bouchey said he had some complaints about the sandy roads. The person who drives the belly dump truck has given his two-week notice. The commissioners would like to know how our wages compared to other counties in the area.  Balthazor told Bouchey he had received calls this week about wages and reclassification. This was discussed by Bouchey and the commissioners. The last safety meeting was about a year ago. Balthazor said the safety meeting should be done quarterly. Not having safety meetings effect our workman comp rates. Balthazor requested having a safety meeting as soon as possible and this was agreed to by Ruder and Berland. The commissioners asked Bouchey why he wasn’t driving the new vehicle. Bouchey said he wasn’t driving it because he is still waiting on insurance and repairs. The topper was badly damaged during the hail storm and he wants to have the repairs done before putting lights on it. The commissioners told him to start driving his new truck. He has been driving his own vehicle and they are concern about the high liability if he was to get in an accident.

Kim Northup, County Treasurer and Klenda Austerman LLC on Zoom, meet with the Commissioners about a delinquent tax sale for the County. Before the meeting, Berland asked about minimal bids on the parcels being sold. Ruder said the commissioners set it before the tax sale. Northup likes this firm because they don’t accept partial payments for taxes once they file the case in court. They will do the sale from beginning to end but Kim doesn’t know if this includes an abstract. 

Michelle Brenwald and Chris McElgunn, had sent Northup a general description about the sale. Ruder asked for an overview as what they expect to do for the county. McElgunn has been doing this for 30 + years. They don’t handle valuation appeals but do handle tax court issues and tax closure issues.  They get the parcels eligible for tax closure and they do hire out for the title work.  They don’t accept payments as the treasurer does that. They are responsible for taking judgements, organizing and providing services for the sale.  They charge a per parcel fee that is assessed against each parcel along with the title fee, court cost and publication.  The attorney fee is charge per parcel. They provide instructions and memos to the treasurer. They will start in September and finish up by next September. It is a 9 to 12 months process for smaller counties. After the sale is completed and confirm by the court, if there aren’t funds from the sales and redemption to pay attorney fees, then those fees are forgiven. They only bill the county may have to pay are publication and title company. This would be reimbursed back to the county after the tax sale. Northup discussed severed mineral interest that are unsold and come back to the county. Klenda wants to see the list but he thinks they can be sold as a bundle. He would need to look at them before he would know how the assess the fees. He is thinking the best way to sell the mineral interest is to bundle the interest. A court authority will be needed to sell the minerals as a bundle. Northup will send the mineral information to Klenda. Berland question if we referred complaints by the owners to them, are these included in the attorney fees. McElgunn replied yes.

Kurtis Geisler with Gavel Roads was in to visit with the Commissioners about online auctions. The way the reserve works is the county has a minimum bid for the equipment. Gravel Roads charge 10% premium for sales and a 5% additional fee for equipment over $1,000. The company is out of Wichita but he takes care of the business in the north half of the state. They do an online auction every two weeks. Best thing about the company is the website is the easiest to navigate.

Balthazor made a motion to sign the August 9 and 10th minutes. Berland second the motion and Ruder agreed.

Balthazor made a motion to review and sign the weekly vouchers as follows. Ruder second the motion and Berland agreed.

GENERAL                             WARR #78608 – 78639                   $34,767.21

NOXIOUS WEED                WARR #78641 – 78642                   $178.01

TREAS EQUIP RESERVE   WARR #78643                                    $7000.00

HEALTH DEPARTMENT      WARR #78644 – 78656                   $8,155.40

GOLF COURSE                    WARR #78657 – 78662                   $8,173.73

PARK & RECREATION         WARR #78663                                    $4,000.00

INSURANCE CLAIMS          WARR #78664                                    $31,331.43

With no future business to transact, Ruder made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Berland second the motion and Balthazor agreed.

Adopted this 23rd day of August, 2022




John Ruder, Chairman                                                                                                                                                                              


Greg Balthazor, Member


Tim Berland, Member



Laura Montgomery, Certified County Clerk